The Game Developer's Conference (GDC) is famous for a lot of things and among them - EA DICE stand tall. While many Publishers pick Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for their new game's reveals, GDC has now become EA's staple for Battlefield announcements.
Two years back EA DICE introduced the gorgeous looking Battlefield 3 to all present at GDC 2011. An in-game footage of the single-player shell shocked everyone present at the event with it's slick graphics and life-like gameplay.
GDC 2013 has set the tone for Battlefield 4 going forward just like the event had set the tone for Battlefield 3 back then.
Snippets started appearing online teasing the imminent reveal of the next-gen Battlefield game, Battlefield 4, that is. It was a no-brainer that GDC would be the platform where we would finally delve into this new entry from DICE.
To start with, the publisher chose the AMC Metreon Theater - right next to where GDC was shaping up - to unviel the mega-budget shooter. It was some what reminiscent of a Hollywood military movie where you expect to be immersed in high-octane action pouring into your eyes. And this is exactly what EA wanted you to feel while watching the game play.
To embrace the characters, feel their emotion, react to their choices and come out feeling baffled and yet excited for what was still left to come. Because at some point you're going to be given the option to play it yourself! This is what the execs of EA DICE are aiming for this time around with Battlefield 4.
Battlefield is a series that crafted multiplayer online shooters into what we know and love today. But despite their enormous budget and advanced tech, they have not managed to capture a single player experience that could rival the other titles. BF3 proved they could hold the title in the multiplayer arena and so BF4 has come to the single player stage with guns a blazing. The revelation of the game began with a 17-minute in game footage. A similar path from Battlefield 3. What we witnessed was clearly better than the last game. Why? The game was running on a new engine - Frostbite 3, and it sure flexed it's muscles. This is, at least in FPS genre, the most realistic game that we've seen so far. Character models, draw distance, AI re-activeness, particle effects, and ..seagulls!
Though proud of the technical limits they've managed to cross with Frostbite 3, DICE doesn't want to put all its faith in stunning graphics alone; it's all about the 'experience'. 'Shadow of the Colossus' is an example of this.
The video titled 'Fishing in Baku' starts with Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart" playing in the background, and the protagonist, Recker, along with his squad, Tombstone, find themselves trapped in a jeep that's sinking to the bottom of the ocean. His leader, Dunn, has his leg stuck in between the seats and time is ticking, fast. They must either leave Dunn and escape while they can or risk their lives by staying, trying to free Dunn. A dramatic sequence....
You rewind several minutes to play out the whole sequence leading up to that final piece of drama. Beginning in this broke-building searching for your squad mates while avoiding enemy eyes. The light and dust particle effects really lit the whole environment.... awry. Moving on, you find your squad mates Dunn and Pac. Irish is in the opposite building being gunned down by the Russians. To provide cover fire, Dunn and Pac strip down the shutters blocking us from the outside world. When they do, an array of natural light gushes in the room; noise of the bustling street, chirping of the birds, sight of the skyscrapers; gives me a different feel instantly.
Irish crashes out of the window with a few canines behind him. He incapacitates them (Guess who would be really riled up about that..?) and we take care of the attacking Russians. The group reunites and then set off towards their next objective - Extraction point. So they step out and in to the forest. The greenery is lively and organic. Move along further and you see a huge landscape with hundreds of seagulls overhead, half-constructed skyscrapers with sheets flying off of them, enemy trucks going to their base and all of this really makes you go, " Well, this beautiful scenery is going to get real ugly...", and that was just on the horizon.
You quietly make your way to the extraction point but on the way you get spotted, and this is where the action gets intense. DICE is trying to bridge the gap between their award-winning multiplayer and linear, focused singleplayer. This means you will have more multiplayer-like freedom, while on missions, and the environment is said to be big enough for you to make use of it by strategizing your approach. While the demo didn't play with this 'open' scope, we hope to see this in the future. Clearing the area, we continue on with our assignment. The next scene shows the Tombstone Squad take an elevator to reach the top of a building.
Midway, an enemy chopper detects us and open fires. The elevator is hit and the team scrambles out to save their lives. They straighten up and dash towards the stairs going up, all the while dodging the attack chopper. Recker sees the pick up and just when he closes the gap between him and the pick up, disaster strikes. The Russian Attack chopper is still at it and in no time obliterates our pick up. A Hollywood-inspired scenario plays itself and we see a large part of the building collapsing, the pickup chopper hits ground and goes out in flames, you're barely hanging on to a ledge with Dunn desperately holding on to your leg. And of course, the ledge gives way and Recker along with Dunn plummet to the ground.
You then wake up; Irish pushing the rubble from atop of you, Pac trying to do the same with Dunn. While you get out without any serious injury, Dunn on the other hand, is lying on the ground, screaming out of pain as his right leg is crushed under a heavy chock of block. The chopper is right next to them and could blow up any minute. It's chaos right now and the only way to get Dunn away is to amputate his leg, military style. Recker has to do it and he, after a few moments of hesitations, slit his leg. He passes out and blood spews from his right leg. I felt the scenario because I was totally immersed in it - just by watching it. You get into a civilian 4*4 vehicle and just get to help, where available, because Dunn was going in to shock.
The now infamous attack chopper is still persisting and goes all out against you. You are driving but a certain situation calls for a little improvisation, and Irish hands a grenade launcher to you and you go slo-mo and shoot down the bad guy. Again, interactive set pieces is still very much kicking and the falling chopper plummets right in front of you causing you to lose control over the vehicle and flying straight into the ocean. You are back where you first began in the demo. A sinking jeep, you and your squad mates..... Recker then shoots the windshield and escapes out with Irish and Pac. Leader Dunn sacrifices his life.
I felt that 'experience' DICE is aiming for. But again, this was only the opening sequence of the game. Whether the rest holds up or not can only be answered this Fall.
The ending of the video gave a few glimpses of what was to come but it's much better if you watch it for yourself. That, you must have probably done already.
Now, GD will case some more interesting information DICE went on to reveal:
- The confirmed locations as of now are China and Azerbaijan.
- There will be additional characters appearing later in the game but you will not swap between them. Recker will be the only playable character. For the first time, a female soldier will fight alongside you.
- Female soldiers will not be available in the multiplayer of the game.
- The game is said to have three factions, namely USA, Russia and China for the multiplayer component.
- You can issue orders to your squad mates in the singleplayer. This was shown in the gameplay footage as well.
- Co-op has been completely scrapped in order to strengthen the singleplayer and multiplayer components.
- A number of ground, naval and air vehicles are spotted and confirmed for Battlefield 4.
- The game's HUD in the singleplayer is evolved and will integrate the 'social' aspect of the multiplayer into. There are icons on the top right of the screen suggesting friend's stats etc, and the health bar in the bottom right of the screen.
- The game's destruction mechanism has been revamped and is better than before, courtesy Frostbite 3.
- Confirmed platforms for the game as of now are: PC, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360. The version will, in all likely hood, launch on the next-gen Xbox as well. Wii U owners, however, will not see Battlefield 4 on their platforms.
EA DICE hasn't confirmed the game for the next-generation of consoles but various retailers have started taking orders for the PS4 version of BF4. (Next)Xbox will soon follow. This means that when the game finally launches, it will grace 5 platforms, spanning two generations. That is huge in terms of EA's development, support and belief in DICE, and in terms of number of potential units sold. They don't call Battlefield franchise a Blockbuster AAA-title for nothing.
Customers who pre-order the game will receive a 'Premium Expansion Pack' (Like Back to Karkand for Battlefield 3) at no extra cost. What that DLC is, though we will get to know in due time. Origin's own 'Digital Deluxe' version of the game is available for gamers. It will feature the upcoming Multiplayer beta as well as 'in-game digital items'. You can also wait for other retailers to unveil their own goodies for the game.
System Requirements you ask? This is Game Debate and you can be sure that the official requirements will be updated first and foremost here. So be sure to stay tuned. You can also chat with our community about the game because Battlefield 4 is one of their highly anticipated titles as well.
The event didn't how the Multiplayer component of the game, but that was expected. It will likely debut at E3, and we will be there to bring you all the update on Battlefield 4, and others. As of now, we really like how Battlefield 4 is shaping up. Lets hope E3 has some juicy BF4 trailers to show off as well